The merit badge counselor is a key player in the Scouts BSA advancement program. As a merit badge counselor, your mission is to join fun with learning.
You are both a teacher and mentor as the Scout works on a merit badge and learns by doing. Your hands-on involvement could inspire a Scout to develop a lifelong hobby, pursue a particular career, or become an independent, self-supporting adult.
- that offers dozens of courses in topics ranging from American business and animal science to welding and robotics.
- where the instructors—mentors, really—are experts in their fields who work one-on-one with students to help them complete their course requirements.
- where each course costs less than $7, including a textbook and a completion certificate.
- that may be outdoors, at a camp, at a pool, or even at a work bench. Such a school might sound imaginary, but it actually exists.
- where about 85% of the topics have at least 1 science requirement
This “school,” the Scouts BSA merit badge program, has awarded more than 113 million badges since 1910.
Within the context of Scouting, the merit badge program does two things:
- ensures that Scouts who earn the Eagle Scout Award—Scouting’s highest rank—have developed core competencies in such areas as camping, citizenship, environmental science, first aid, and personal fitness.
- encourages every Scout to explore topics he may know nothing about. A plumber’s son might earn the medicine merit badge, while a doctor’s son might earn a badge in plumbing.
Call it LIFE 101.
- Register with the District by completing a membership application. Click to download English, Español.
- Complete the Merit Badge Counselor Information form.
- Complete the Merit Badge Counselor Orientation class (see below).
An individual may be a counselor for any number of Merit Badges, as long as he/she is qualified for each subject. Trained Merit Badge counselors can choose to make themselves available to Scouts in their district and neighboring districts within the Council or may limit themselves to a single unit.
In addition to the required forms, you must take Merit Badge Counselor Orientation (see below) and Youth Protection Training.
Stanford District (held in Palo Alto)
Date: Second Tuesday of each month
Location: Palo Alto Scout Service Center, 1305 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
Contact: Celisa K. Date at email@example.com.
Note: Scouters from other districts are welcome.
Redwood District (held in Redwood City)
Date: Second Thursday of the month
Location: Redeemer Lutheran School, 468 Grand St, Redwood City (when the coordinator knows someone is coming.) Parking is available in the lot on the corner of Harrison and Hudson Streets.
Contact: Pam Fosnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Discovery District (location varies)
Date: Discovery District merit badge counselor classes are held on an “as-needed basis” in a group setting, usually at Roundtable.
Contact: Deb Quinn at DLQBSA@gmail.com to schedule.